The Cape to Cape Track is one of the best ways to explore the stunning landscape of the southwest. The 135km trail is Australia’s longest coastal walk, connecting Cape Naturaliste in the north with Cape Leeuwin, Australia’s most south-westerly point.
The track passes through the region’s most stunning scenery, best swimming beaches, world famous surf spots, waterfalls, sea cliffs and the giant Karri trees.
If you need more convincing it’s also a great way to exercise off all the extra calories from the wine tastings, cheese and all the other things Margaret River and surrounds are famous for.
You don’t have to do the whole thing
If you want to do the entire 135km walk you will need about six days, but unless you’re a hardcore hiker, one of the best thing about the Cape to Cape Track is that you don’t have to walk the entire track. You can walk for as long or as little as you want and keep coming back to do more sections.
No matter where you are along this strip of coast, it’s easy to find the track which passes through most beach carparks along the coast.
If you want to turn it into a day trip, the best thing to do is organise a shuttle and a drop off and pick up point. For longer hikes there are also several new hiking tours available.
You’re guaranteed spectacular scenery no matter where you decide to join the trail. An easy way to get started is at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, the most northern point of the track. From here you can walk the 3km hard-surfaced trail to the imposing Surgarloaf Rock. If you want to keep going, continue along the trail to the popular 4WD only Three Bears surf break.
Other great entry points can be found at Canal Rocks, Indijup Beach, Gracetown and Gnarabup. All of these spots are easily accessible by road and once you’ve found the track you can head either north or south for as long as you wish.
Some of the highlights include the Wilyabrup sea cliffs, one of West Australia’s premier rock climbing and abseiling spots and the relatively unknown Quininup Falls, located 2km from Moses Rock car park.
At the southern end of the trail things start to get wilder and less accessible to vehicles. Heading south from Conto Springs, the trail turns inland from the coast and meanders through the giant Karri trees of the Boranup Forest before it heads back along the sandy white beach of Boranup and to Hamelin Bay.
If you’re planning to go for a night or more, there are several accommodation options along the way. The track has four free campsites for hikers with basic facilities including a bush toilet, rainwater tank, picnic tables and seats.
For more luxurious camping there are commercial campsites located near Gracetown and Prevelly. Other accommodation options including hotels, backpackers and B&Bs are available at Yallingup, Gracetown, Prevelly and Hamelin Bay.
Things to Consider
- It can get hot. If you head down during the summer months it can get particularly hot, especially around the northern sections where most of the walking is done on the limestone cliffs with sparse vegetation and little shade.
- It’s remote – you won’t find many shops along the way so make sure that you bring essentials including plenty of water. There are a few rainwater tanks and creeks along the way but don’t count on these to provide you with drinking water.
- Mobile phone coverage is sparse – take this into account before you head off and always take the time to consider what to do in an emergency before you head off into the wilderness.
- It’s sandy – there are many beach sections with long stretches of soft sand. A great but tiring workout for your butt and calf muscles.
For more practical information about the track and maps , head to the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track website here.